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Tags: raúl labrador | idaho | attorney general | lawrence wasden | abortion

Ex-Rep. Labrador Rallied Right to Beat Idaho Attorney General

raul labrador smiles
Raúl R. Labrador, a candidate for the Republican nomination for state attorney general, talks with reporters during the a Republican Party primary-night gathering in Boise, Idaho, on May 17. (Kyle Green/AP)

John Gizzi By Tuesday, 24 May 2022 07:13 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

A week after the stunning results of Idaho's Republican primary for attorney general, Gem State Republicans are still talking about the defeat of controversial incumbent Lawrence Wasden by conservative former Rep. Raúl Labrador.

By a margin of 51% to 38%, Labrador — a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus — clobbered Wasden in a three-way contest. Occasionally referred to as "the eternal general," Wasden, 64, was Idaho's longest-serving attorney general for 20 years.

"And he was also someone who had lost touch with the people who elected him," Labrador, 54, told Newsmax shortly after he was declared the winner. "We had a very simple message: [Wasden] had been there too long and was giving bad opinions."

With the backing of 33 Republican state legislators and a network of contacts from his years as state party chairman, Labrador hit hard at Wasden for becoming, in his words, "the defender of the bureaucracy instead of the defender of the people."

"He allowed the governor [Brad Little] to overreach the state of emergency he declared [over COVID-19] after he extended it by 30 days," said the challenger, "and this included shutting down our [public] schools."

Labrador also rallied the state's anti-abortion movement as he reminded voters of Wasden's advice to the governor on SB 1309— the so-called "heartbeat bill," which would allow family members to sue an abortion provider for no less than $20,000 in cases where an abortion is performed or attempted after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republican Gov. Brad Little signed the controversial bill, but in his letter to the legislature said he believed the civil enforcement mechanism "will in short order be proven both unconstitutional and unwise."

"This was based on an opinion from the attorney general," Labrador told Newsmax. "And it gave talking points to the ACLU."

Although Labrador did not have former President Donald Trump's endorsement, he did rally the former president's Idaho supporters by making clear "I would have, as attorney general, joined with Texas and other states in challenging the electoral vote outcome of the 2020 election. My opponent refused to join them."

Labrador ended up outraising Wasden in campaign donations. Now heavily favored over Democrat Steve Scanlin in November, Labrador will become the nation's first Puerto Rican state attorney general anywhere — and almost surely an attorney general who will be heard beyond Idaho's borders.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
A week after the stunning results of Idaho's Republican primary for attorney general, Gem State Republicans are still talking about the defeat of controversial incumbent Lawrence Wasden by conservative former Rep. Raúl Labrador.
raúl labrador, idaho, attorney general, lawrence wasden, abortion
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2022-13-24
Tuesday, 24 May 2022 07:13 AM
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